Benewah Community Hospital has implemented a new tool to help patients access their medical data over the Internet.

The new patient portal allows visitors to Benewah Community Hospital to access summaries of their doctor visits. It also allows patients to view lab and radiology results, as well as lists of medications, as soon as they are available.

“It’s a quick access for patients to see their lab results from the hospital,” hospital employee Kristi Masterson said. “It gives patients more ownership to have their information when they want it. If you get lab work done on a Friday, you may have to wait through the weekend to get it normally. This way, you can get it as soon as it’s in our computer system.”

The new system was implemented as part of the hospital’s contract with health information company Cerner. The portal was part of a hospital-wide update to information systems, and was provided at no additional cost.

Ms. Masterson said the hospital previously had an online patient portal through their website. However, the site was not user friendly, and the hospital did not promote it widely. In contrast, she said the new system is simple to use, and patients can register either online or in person as part of their hospital visit.

“I encourage people to check it out,” she said. “Some people get a little nervous about getting online and providing their information; but this is a federal program, and it passes all federal requirements for patient privacy under HIPAA. It’s very safe.”

To make use of the patient portal, visitors can enroll either in person at the hospital or online at bchmed.iqhealth.com/self-enroll. After registration, visitors can access health records at bchmed.iqhealth.com. There is no additional cost for enrollment in the patient portal.

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